ATLANTA – Affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC and its operating partner, Golden Child Holdings, have acquired Krystal Restaurants LLC. Krystal filed for bankruptcy in January and was put up for sale as part of the reorganization process. Fortress emerged as the successful bidder of the business. 

Thomas Stager was named president of Krystal, effective immediately. He replaces Tim Ward, former president and chief operating officer. Mr. Ward, along with former chief financial officer Bruce Vermilyea, are no longer with Krystal. Additional company plans will be announced soon, the company said.

Mr. Stager is a long-time leader in the restaurant industry and an operator who has led successful turnaround assignments in both franchisee and franchiser sectors with large brands including Pizza Hut and Arby’s, Krystal said.

“The new partnership is excited to continue growing the brand, maintaining an overriding focus on enhancing customer experience,” said Angela Johnson, vice president of marketing for Krystal Restaurants. “Even during this unusual time, our iconic brand continues to perform well, and we see exceptional opportunities for growth looking ahead.”

Krystal Restaurants is known for serving hamburgers on a square bun at 300 restaurants in 10 states. Krystal’s Atlanta-based Restaurant Support Center serves more than 6,000 employees. 

Fortress Investment Group is a global investment manager with offices in Atlanta and approximately $43.5 billion of assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2019.

Golden Child is an active investor and manager in the restaurant sector and has extensive turnaround experience.